INSTRUCTIONS FOR REVIEW AUTHORS
MN does not accept unsolicited offers to review particular books. MN reviews of single books generally range in length from 1,500 to 3,500 words; reviews covering two or more books generally range from 2,000 to 6,000 words. Reviews should be submitted as Word documents attached to an email message.
The copyright to a review belongs to MN. The review may not be released to any other publication, posted on the Internet, or otherwise circulated publicly without the express permission of the journal. Requests for permission should be sent by email to the MN office.
Listed here are a few matters of style with particular relevance to book reviews. MN follows The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), 17th edition, for most style questions. See also the MN Style Sheet.
1. Italics/Japanese Terms
Italicize Japanese terms (and other foreign-language terms) except for those that have entered the English language as indicated by their inclusion in standard English-language reference works. For this purpose, MN primarily follows the usage in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary or Merriam-Webster Unabridged (see https://www.merriam-webster.com and https://unabridged.merriam-webster.com)—collectively referred to below as Merriam-Webster—and also in certain cases adopts the usage in the Oxford English Dictionary.
However, note the following spellings adopted by MN regardless of their appearance in the above sources:
kabuki, not Kabuki
bunraku, not Bunraku
romaji, not Romaji
noh, not No, Nō, or Noh
2. Macrons and Plurals
Provide macrons for all but anglicized words (shogun, daimyo, etc.). Place-names follow the same principle; consult Merriam-Webster and other standard English-language reference works. Quotations from a Western-language work that deviates from these principles should preserve its usage.
For Japanese names and terms, including anglicized terms, use the same form as both singular and plural:
the two daimyo; the third, sixth, and seventh Tokugawa shogun
Kanji are generally not included in MN book reviews except where the characters as such are directly relevant to the discussion at hand.
Punctuation following a quotation identified by a page number goes outside the parentheses (except in the case of indented block quotations).
Punctuation (except for colons and semicolons) is placed inside quotation marks:
“Seeing is believing,” said the teacher; but, “Seeing is believing”; but it was not what I expected.
In a series of three or more elements, the elements are separated by commas.
4. Page Number References
Use a “p.” (plural: “pp.”) when providing a parenthetical reference to a page number:
“She makes the tradition [of women’s speech] work for her” (p. 40).
. . . despite her intent to encompass a “multiplicity” of feminisms (p. xv).
Spell out “page” when the reference is not parenthetical.
“. . . the discussion from page 34 to page 55 pertains to . . .”
Endnotes should be avoided wherever possible and used only for the purpose of citing works referred to in the text; any discursive content should be incorporated into the body of the review.
Provide full bibliographic information using the note (not bibliography) format presented in CMS:
1 Ellen Gardner Nakamura, Practical Pursuits: Takano Chōei, Takahashi Keisaku, and Western Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2005), p. 15.
Parts of a book (preface, introduction, chapter, part, section) are lowercased.
Numerals identifying parts of a book are arabic (e.g., “chapter 1”).
Inclusive dates are given in full:
Under 100 give full digits: pp. 69–70; pp. 65–67; pp. 6–17; pp. 17–25.
For numbers 100 to 109, give full digits; for numbers 110 and above, drop the duplicated hundreds digit. Follow the same principles for 200s, 300s, etc.: pp. 100–104, 185–95, 201–20.